Monthly Archives: December 2013

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guys, i’m awake

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It happened. We let the child out of his “cage.” AKA crib.

Thanksgiving Day, I put Mateo down for a nap in his crib. I told him, “When you wake up, we’re going to go have a Thanksgiving Feast and go see Kyle (his cousin).” I do this a lot. At night I’ll tell him to “let me know when you wake up in the morning.” It just seems to help him feel like he’s choosing to go to sleep. (‘Cause toddler like to fight. they just do).

But…it backfired. Possibly “feast” and “cousin” were just too exciting. About 15 minutes later I heard his little voice and it was decidedly not coming from inside his room. We (my parents, sister, Aki, and brother) all ran upstairs…and there he was. Yes, outside. Of his crib, of his room.

Mateo: “Guys, I’m awake!”

He recreated “the climb” for the audience. Three times in a row.  It was a one-handed operation (because one arm is always cradling his monkey. No monkey left behind). I wish I’d taken a video. Probably not the safest thing to climb out of a crib, one handed while groggy so it was “ciao ciao crib” and “hola toddler bed.” (His crib has a neat little conversion set which opens one side and turns it into a bed).

These photos are from that first night sleeping in his “new” bed. My dad read his bedtime stories (Uncle Christian hung out for a bit too), and it’s pretty novel to be able to have someone else SIT in his bed. :) I have a lot of photos of “Papa” reading to Mateo from the past two years. They’re some of my favorites because my dad read to us every night as kids. I actually still can’t go to sleep to this day without a story (now podcasts).

So yup, now you’re fully updated on Mateo’s sleeping situation. No real big news, but it definitely feels like a milestone. He’s one step closer to being a proper big boy.

Ah, and the best part. When he wakes up, he opens his door and yells one of the following:

“guys!”

“guys I’m awake!”

“Anyone? Anyone?”

“It’s Teo!”

TIME. It sure does fly…

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expecting. beginning.

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I took these photos for a friend, Jacque, who is expecting a baby girl any day now. Mateo & I spent the morning with her, our friend Angela, and Rome (the biggest & most handsome dog ever). I was a little nervous about taking on a “maternity shoot” because I know how meaningful photo documentation is. I really wanted to capture the beauty she is and what a special moment in time this is. There was nothing to be nervous about. Jacque is the most down-to-earth, naturally ethereal mama. It was a relaxed morning. Mateo may have eaten a few too many chocolates and watched a couple extra episodes of Curious George on an ipad. But it was a relaxed morning. :)

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Isn’t Jacque beautiful? And Rome! That dog is something! :) He was taller than Mateo! But really, he was a gentle giant. He’ll be an excellent big brother. ;)

You’ll love this — that little sweater that Jacque is holding up in one of the photos is what she wore home from the hospital as a newborn! I love that. It’s so special that she can wrap her own baby girl in the same cozy, little top!

I love that I can give Jacque these photos. And I’m thankful to my friend Angela who connected me to Jacque and always pushes me to use my talents. I tend to focus on what I lack in talent, but you need to use what you have to move forward. I do know that. I may never be “ready” but sitting on talent is a waste. For everyone. It really did mean a lot to me to be able to document the end of Jacque’s pregnancy for her. That motivates me. And while I did have to experiment a bit and make poor 38-week-pregnant Jacque move around, we figured it out. And I learned so much.  I still don’t think of myself as a “photographer,” but title aside, I’m finding myself more and more drawn to photography. If I could have any wish, I’d probably wish that my eyes could take photos. (And for Mateo’s health and happiness, etcetera, etcetera…sure). :) It wasn’t ever my plan to start taking commissioned photos, but I’m starting to think about branching out and pushing myself in that direction.

I remember (so badly) wanting to be able to capture light-filled images during my pregnancy and just not being able to figure out how. I still have that same camera, but I’ve learned so much more about how to use it. It was through becoming a mom, needing a creative outlet, and wanting to document Mateo — that I started playing around with my camera. This blog in particular has pushed me. I just want to learn more.

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fall into autumn. bring on the bonfire. part three.

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Fall weekend: Part Three! The bonfire was my favorite part of the weekend. (part one and part two if you missed them). The backstory again, is that my parents moved to small-town, Indiana about six years ago. They live in the center of their town, right by “Main Street” which is really quite charming with lots of shops and mom & pop restaurants to walk to. But right outside of town is country. Amish country and farming country.

I’m a city girl and I really haven’t spent enough time in the country. In fact, there was this time I was on a roadtrip with my brothers and we just had to stop the car and get out because the whole sky was filled with twinkling stars. We’d simply never seen anything like it. We actually put our arms around each other and just stood there on the side of the road, looking up. I believe we were in the middle of Iowa. Not proud, but in amazement I exclaimed,  ”WOW, it’s like we’re in the planetarium!” bahaha. (yeah, it’s just like that. like a man-made sky for city folk). Ooooorrrr, we’re outside away from city light pollution.

SO, that’s me.

My parents told us we were all invited to their friends’ farm for a bonfire. A REAL 350-acre farm. I donno, it was just so great. I was just kinda in awe that they have this land and work it, and it’s all so beautiful and full of character. It makes you feel connected to tradition and to living.

Family. That’s my grandpa, Mateo’s “great” that you see greeting him at the horse stable. And I love the photos of Mateo in between my dad, (his Papa) and my grandpa (his Great). The photo of the three men (two wearing red hats) are my dad, grandpa, and Aki. And that’s my sister (Mateo’s dear “auntie”) jumping in the air. :)

I mentioned in my earlier posts that I was really stressed leading up to this weekend. Taking walks, taking family photos, and visiting the pumpkin patch were fun activities…but it was the bonfire that I needed. I mean, there’s something about a fire that is so hypnotizing. The world dims a little and it’s just a simple moment around a dancing fire. And when else do people get together and just sing? :) Growing up, we used to have large camping family reunions. The singing around the campfire was my favorite. Mateo has now been officially introduced! If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen the video I posted that night of us singing around the fire back in October.

Ah, and I almost forgot! They took us (almost 20 of us) on a midnight hayride! :) It wasn’t really midnight, but it was pitch black, and they hooked up one of their tractors and took us on a hayride through some of their fields. Mateo was SO excited about another hayride (his first was on the Pumpkin Patch). But haha, he was O-U-T, fast asleep about two minutes in. I captured this pic of the sleepyhead on my phone. :)

Good times. I could use more country air.

Thank you to the Millers for hosting us on the farm. Your farm is pretty amazing, you are so hospitable, and we had a great time. Thank you, thank you!


ALSO, Want to wish Mateo’s Baka (grandma) in Croatia a very Happy Birthday! (Sretan rođendan!!!!). We love you!

fall into autumn. even later. pumpkins, oh my. part two.

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Hope everyone stateside (or celebrating abroad) had a Happy Thanksgiving! We did. We ate food, saw family, ate more food. Repeat. And not to be all braggy, but for real, our Thanksgiving spread is always a little bit extra awesome because we have Korean noodles and Korean BBQ beef along side the turkey. And baklava along side the pies for dessert. Sigh, wish there were leftovers…

SO I know everyone’s already singing Christmas songs and rushing to get trees up…but before you completely switch over, WAIT, we have more Autumn to share! Here’s Part two of our second annual trip to Indiana for Pumpkins and Fall Photos. And of course visit Noni & Papa (my parents). ;)

Just your usual December Pumpkin Patch Blog Post! ;) Ya know.

A little late, but moving on. This year was fun because Mateo is truly excited by these special outtings (nothing new) and he remembers them (new!). He’s still talking about the “punkin pash” and the “haywide.” :)

As for the Pumpkin Patch, we told Mateo that he could pick any pumpkin he wanted. He picked a miniature squash and he was done. If you look very closely at the top photos (in the corn maze) you’ll see it clutched in his hands. :) He DID however have fun looking for old rotted pumpkins and yelling “EWWW, yucky punkin” or “GARBAGE PUNKIN!” ;)

Last year he was too tiny to cover much ground. This year, he wandered into the corn maze which was cute stuff. We would have checked out the apple orchard as well but oops, we didn’t check their hours and we ran out of time. Next year! Actually we were alone at the end; caught the very last hayride back. We closed out the pumpkin patch! ;) But really, an hour or so looking for yucky punkins is quite a memory in his book.

If you missed part one, here’s a link to that: fall into autumn part one. And stay tuned. There’s ONE more Fall photo post to sneak in from that weekend way back in October. And OH MAN, it’s DECEMBER already!

HAPPY DECEMBER FIRST!

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